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Instructor Foundations for Veterinary Instructors: Anatomy, Handling, and Assessments

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Thanks so much for our interest in becoming a K9 MEDIC Instructor Assistant!  We appreciate your willingness to share your expertise to support Working  Dogs.

As veterinary professionals, we know that you are already experts in the clinical aspects of our pre-hospital program.  The purpose of this trainer program is three-fold:

1) Highlight the differences between pre-hospital and in-hospital care.  

For example most pre-hospital providers have reduced equipment and supplies, and often fewer team members.  Furthermore, patient transport, sometimes including field transport to get to the vehicle, creates further challenges to be address.

2) Highlight the similarities and differences between human and canine patients.  

Given that most K9 prehospital providers come from the human side of EMS/First Aid, we recognize that the learning model of ‘primacy’ means that what they learn first (human care) is what they remember most.  Therefore we use the human model (of both care and training) as a scaffold upon which we add K9 care.  We make a point to speak the language of the provider, to begin with sharing what is similar (happily there is a high degree of similarity) and then pointing out the anatomical/physiological differences between humans and dogs, and the corresponding differences.  Especially at trainers delve into more detailed topics such as Tension Pneumothorax, it will become important for the Veterinary trainer to learn about human presentation and interventions in order to most successfully convert the skills of the EMS provider to the K9 patient.

 3) Present students with a common, consistent curriculum.

K9 MEDIC has invested more than a decade in developing best practices in both content and delivery mechanisms. 

We have very specific topic layering, sequencing, and teaching modalities (especially in our longer courses).  As such for fundamental topics, you will see the material reinforced multiple times in multiple ways through the courses, adding new dimensions of learning in each layer.

You will find that we a variety of “Key Phrases” that has been instrumental in creating memory aids that lead to retention. It is very rewarding to hear students years later echo back those exact same phrases in the field or sharing with other team members, because it’s clear that even the course was long ago, the language and the skills have continued to serve the learner for years.

It is essential that instructors follow a consistent approach in both concepts and presentation.  If you have questions, concerns or disagreements with any content, please let us know!!  We love discussion and feedback! ♥🐾  That’s how we build better programs. And, that discussion needs to happen before student interactions, so students don’t suffer from inconsistent learning.

Finally, note that this Assistant Instructor Online Program is still in it’s very early infancy of development and only a few select teams currently have access to this material prior to it’s full release.  Please be patient with us as develop out our material and work with our new server platform!  We will make sure that you have access to all the new and updated materials as they are added into the system.  If you have any problems you can contact Jo-Anne Brenner directly at or reach out the team in general at 

Thanks for helping us to #MakeADifference #ForDogsSake